First the good stuff – the beer. For those who read my earlier post, you’ll notice a few differences:
- Kane Head High On draft at Willie McBrides in Branchburg, NJ. Hop-tastic beer finally knocks Long Trail IPA and Ye Olde Tarvern off the top spot. Only available in New Jersey.
- Ballast Point Sculpin IPA On draft at the House of Beor! An excellent, crisp, hop-tastic, and golden-copper brew. Lots of floral and bitter hops combine to make this a magical experience. A bit $$$, but well worth it from one of the best brewers in the USA.
- Long Trail IPA (served on draft at the Ye Olde Tavern, Manchester, VT USA): in my humble opinion the best beer in America, but only at this specific location. In a bottle it wouldn’t make the list. At the brewery maybe, but at this specific place it is a magical experience.
- Founder’s All Day Session IPA: Even out of the bottle this is a beer to experience. The hop kick and flavor is stunning. Drink up since it is a session beer!
- Troegs Nugget Nectar is a golden ale with great color and deep flavor without overwhelming you with heaviness. Best to get it on draft – Buttonwood Grill in Lahaska, PA in the spring – it is a seasonal beer. Last year Central Liquors in Flemington, NJ surprised me by getting a keg for me 🙂 Nice guys there.
- Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: After much consideration this ale must make my top ten. Rich and hoppy with one of the most incredible heads on an ale, it is a treat any time of the year and I’ll stock it in my kegerator whenever I can get it.
- Green Flash West Coast IPA try to get this on tap. There are a few places in the Philly area that have it. A wonderful hop-tastic experience.
- Pils – La Biere Togolaise really cold, in Cotonou, Benin, and with friends is what makes this crisp and light lager special. The only lager in the top 10!
- Keizer Karel – Charles Quint (preferably in Antwerp at De Pelgrom or De Grootte Ganz): a mid-alcohol Belgian classic. There are few better things than a few of these on the Groenplaats in Antwerp on a summer evening. If you’re in De Grootte Ganz make sure you say “arrrggghhh” a few times 🙂
- Anchor Steam (San Francisco – draft only): Another specialty beer best consumed on its native turf. Dark and malty, but also not too filling. Anchor is an American original for beer so get it and enjoy.
Honorable mentions: Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA, Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Celebration, Lagunitas IPA, and Stone IPA
Best Watering Holes for Beer:
- Ye Olde Tavern – Manchester, VT
- Issac Newton’s – Newtown, PA
- Nancy Blake’s – Limerick, IR
- De Pelgrom/De Grotte Ganz – Antwerp, Belgium
- Long Trail Brewery – Waterloo, VT
- Pig n’ Whistle – New York, NY
- Yard House – San Deigo, CA
- Chlosterhof – Stein Am Rhein, Switzerland
- Iron Hill Brewery – West Chester, PA
- Gordon Ramsay’s Pub – Las Vegas, NV
What about the music? I won’t go into detail. If you don’t know the names…google works…here’s a few things I listen to.
- 3 Doors Down
- Rise Against
- Bruce Springsteen
- Hans Zimmer
- Zach Brown Band
- Smashing Pumpkins
- Fleetwood Mac
- Foo Fighters
- The Who
- Pink Floyd